happyflowerlady

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Neanderthals wandered the whole earth for at least a million years before the advent of Cro-Magnon man, which is considered to be who modern man developed from.  Even though Cro-Magnon man is smaller, weaker, and has less brain capacity than the Neanderthal man, and does not have the physical strength to protect himself like Neanderthal, we are said to be descended from them.
If Neanderthals lived all that time unchanged, why would they suddenly, about 120,000 years ago die out and be replaced with a species that were much less able to adapt with primitive life on this planet ?
   We don't have the protective hair that they had, we are weaker, and are a lot more susceptible to diseases and other debilitating illnesses than Neanderthal man was. So, us descending from them, would actually be a non-evolution, rather than an evolution.

So, if they didn't die out, what became of them ? Are they still here, living high in the mountains, isolated and pretty much undiscovered ??
My answer to this, is that I think they are there ! Every continent has its legends of some sort of "wild man" that lives high in thee mountains, or in areas where humans do not go. We call them by different names; Yeti, Sasquatch, Bigfoot, Yowie, Alma, and more.
These mysterious creatures range in size from smaller than a human, to over eight feet tall, and weighing several hundred lbs  and up.
 It makes total sense that we would not usually see them, and if they live a primitive life; living in caves, eating leaves and berries, there would not be any signs of camps, campfires, or even bones leftover from food. 
We did not even know that the Panda bear existed until the 1800's, and it was still many years after that before we captured the first live specimen. Panda bears are easy to spot, they liv mostly in eucalyptus tres, and are not even trying to evade being seen by people, and yet the Panda bear was considered a folk legend for hundred of years.
So could Neanderthal Man still be living today, hidden away in our secluded mountains ------ I say yes, they could ! ! 

 

 

hoodoowytch

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Yep. I'd be really surprised if there weren't some full-blooded Neanderthals still living in this world. Pretty certain they inter-bred with our species too. Case in point, several years ago my hubby and I were doing the flea marketing circuit and while we were set up at an outdoor flea market there was this guy who showed up and if he didn't have Neanderthal genetics then no one does.

This ol' boy was probably around 5'10 and looked like an orangutan. He was covered in orange hair front and back, and had a brow-ridge so thick it stuck out a good half an inch or more above his eyes. He was built like an orangutan too. Long, thick arms, broad chest and shoulders and a thick, slightly longish torso...but he tapered at the waist and his legs were muscular but not long.

He had his shirt off, that's how we knew he was covered in orange hair. It was freakin' pelt. It went from the top of the brow ridge, across his head, all the way down his neck, across his shoulders, down the arms and all over his back and chest. It looked like an orange sweater. 

Neanderthal man certainly lives, the genetics at least, right here in 21st society today.

 

EllyMarks

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Have you read The Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean Auel? I wouldn't recommend the rest of the series, but that hinted that Neanderthal and Cro-Magnon could interbreed.

I'm also remembering, after the discovery of Homo floresiensis ("the Hobbit people"), because I was going to school in Indonesia at the time, my social studies teacher remarked that if they hadn't been wiped out, we might have people that size as classmates today. I think H. floresiensis also had pygmy elephants for pets to ride around in or something? That would have been cool to keep around, too.

 

bsthebenster

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I've seen no evidence to suggest that they are still roaming around. That's not to say they aren't but I can't imagine it being overly likely.

I mean what are the odds of these guys wandering around and the only contact we have with them are legends and reported sightings.

 

happyflowerlady

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Obviously, the Neanderthals are not just wandering through the streets of New York , or any place that it would be easy to spot them. 
If they exist, they are living in places where most human beings have never gone, or are likely to go there. Many people think that they were actually vegetarians, so if they are also eating a plant-based raw food diet; then there would not be any campfire or charred bones remaining anywhere for us to find if we actually did get close to a Bigfoot or Yeti.
There are many creatures on this planet that we are just now discovering that we did not know still existed, and some that we didn't even know existed at all; so it makes a lot of sense to me that any creature who was living in an isolated area of the planet, and is one that naturally keeps away from humans, is only going to be seen on rare occasions.
That there are legends of these creatures in almost every continent also makes the likelihood of their existence greater.  We have no other really good explanation for what became of the Neanderthals, and i think this fits the bill as well as anything else could.

 

tangela

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Hi, anthropologist here (majored in anthropology with a focus on physical/biological). Here are my 2 cents on the matter...

While what you said is possible and has a probable cause, I think it would be difficult for Neanderthals to be surviving in the world today. Neanderthals, as most of us know, are bigger than the modern Homo Sapiens in terms of their bone structure as well as their cranial structure. The Neanderthal was much larger than the modern human; everything about them was more robust and bigger than what we have to offer today. They were shorter, but they were stockier and much stronger than we are: this is not a surprise due to how much of their body is used for daily survival. They were also overall heavier than the average modern humans.

But let's go back to the brain: the brain of the Neanderthal is only similar to us humans in that the size of it is roughly the same at birth, but as it develops it becomes bigger and functions differently than what the modern human brain does; the brain of a Neanderthal rests at an average of 1500 cubic centimeters (and if memory serves me right, the modern human rests at an average of 1350-1400 cubic centimeters).  A study has shown that because of their large body size, much of their brain and brain power was dedicated to functioning and using their bodies properly. The same study also showed that they dedicated more of their brain to visual cues and vision MUCH more than the modern humans of today do. So just because the Neanderthals have a big brain, it doesn't mean they were SMARTER!

And because the brain of a Neanderthal is larger than those of the modern human, they are more likely to get what is called as "Spinal Shock" (where the loss of sensation, along with loss of reflexes and motor paralysis inflicts an individual and their spinal cord). Spinal shock is often seen in individuals with larger-than-average brain and skull sizes. Because of this, if any Neanderthal do in fact suffer from spinal shock, they would have died rather quickly due to their inability to hunt and keep themselves fed and alive. 

As quoted: "Neanderthal brains contained significantly larger visual cortices. This is corroborated by recent endocast work, which found that Neanderthal occipital lobes are relatively larger than those of AMHs [anatomically modern humans]. In addition, previous suggestions that large Neanderthal brains were associated with their high lean body mass imply that Neanderthal also invested more neural tissue in somatic areas involved in body maintenance and control compared with those of contemporary AMHs.

...our findings tie in with the suggestion that the Neanderthal and AMH lineages underwent separate evolutionary trajectories. Starting from the brain size of their common ancestor Homo heidelbergensis, we suggest that Neanderthals enlarged their visual and somatic regions, whereas AMHs achieved similarly large brains by increasing other brain areas (including, for example, their parietal lobes)."


In layman's terms, this simply means that the occipital lobe (the brain lobe towards the back of your head) is more in use by the Neanderthals than by the modern humans, whereas the modern humans used more of the parietal lobe (on the upper-back left and right side of the brain). The occipital lobe region of the brain contains most of our visual function (dimension, color, distance, etc), while the parietal lobe deals with sensation and perception (cognition) as well as sensory input (coordination of the world around us). The left parietal deals with memory and recalling of digits, while the right parietal is concerned with non-verbal memory.

Because the brain development in Neanderthals focused more on the occipital rather than the parietal/temporal/frontal, their brain focused much more on the visual aspect and used the rest of the brain to assist in the movement and bodily function of the rest of their body. Due to this, and the low growth of the parietal/frontal/temporal bone, they did not focus so much on what's around them but rather what's in FRONT of them.

So what does this mean? This means that Neanderthals most likely found themselves isolated and alone with little social aspect because their brain was not developed that way. They did not grow in an social aspect as we did, so their brain function is much different than ours; a good chunk of our brain is focused on the social interactions that we make every day, whereas a good chunk of the brain of a Neanderthal is focused on individual survival via intake of food and mating to continue the genetic line.

And yes, human socialization is very important for survival; it's a matter of altruism and group survival rate verses individual survival rate, but that's a topic for another time :)

So while you are correct that we are weaker, less hairy, and less able to survive, we have gained knowledge and ability in other factors that contributed to our survival (human socialization, cognitive ability to create better tools and shelters, etc). And while there are many stories and legends of oversized-man-like creature in the wild, the possibility of them being Neanderthals is very slim to none.

Why? Firstly, Neanderthal males have a recorded average height of roughly 5 feet 5 inches, which is just a bit shorter than I am (and I am a 22 year old female!). Just by that, the claims of seeing a tall furry creature in the woods is already not possible since you mentioned that those claims usually states the creature is well over 7 feet tall.

Secondly, there has been recorded evidence and study of the use of fire by Neanderthals. The human race started using fire started with the Homo erectus individuals some 400,000 years ago, which is at LEAST 100,000 years earlier than the Neanderthals.  There was also evidence of open-air shelter being used as well as cave-shelters.

Thirdly, as explained before with the brain development, with little social interaction and knowledge of social interactions it is difficult for Neanderthals to survive. Their brain function and capacity would also limit themselves to tools that are not as sophisticated and complex as what the early Homo sapiens have created.

All these factors, as well as the gradual climate change over the many many years, are conclusive of the gradual and eventual decline and extinction of the Neanderthal race.

Sources:
http://australianmuseum.net.au/Homo-neanderthalensis
http://www.tested.com/science/life/454072-why-bigger-neanderthal-brains-didnt-make-them-smarter-humans/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neanderthal#Anatomy
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spinal_shock
http://www.neuroskills.com/brain-injury/occipital-lobes.php
http://www.neuroskills.com/brain-injury/parietal-lobes.php
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Control_of_fire_by_early_humans

 

happyflowerlady

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Thank you for such an interesting reply, Tangela.  I can see that you also have an interest in our historical/pre-historical background of man. I have never studied it except the little we were taught in school, but it is an interesting subject; so I have been reading some articles about Neanderthals, Bigfoot, and the possibility that they could actually be the same creature.
Even if Bigfoot is not actually a Neanderthal, they obviously come from some of the hominids  that existed in that time period. I think that until we are actually able to find one, and be able to study Bigfoot better, there will remain a lot of unanswered questions .

 

Bunny

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You guys better have pressed the big like button for Tangela, that was an amazing reply and very awesome!

Actually it took away what I was going to say which was that we are likely smarter/better equipt to work together to overcome our supposed shortcomings :).

Also bigger brains, from what I have seen, often means the intellect is worse.

 

George

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There is good evidence to suggest that there was interbreeding between the Cro-Magnona and Neanderthals.

As to the Neanderthals still living? I don't think so. I think if the Sasquatch, Bigfoot and Yei creatures exist (and I do not believe that they do) they would likely be something like this creature, said to be extinct http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gigantopithecus

 

happyflowerlady

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I was just  reading today about a new species of shrimp or lobster that was just found in the ocean, and scientist are trying to determine what it actually is.
A man fishing from a dock in Florida caught an unidentified creature that looked like an enormous shrimp, but it was way too big for any shrimp known to scientists, and was over a foot and a half long.
Another person who was also fishing there took pictures, posted them online, and the story went viral.

Scientists  think the creature may be an unknown variety of mantis shrimp, which is actually not a shrimp at all, but is more closely related to a lobster.

We are still discovering new creatures all of the time, some of which we know used to exist; but thought that they were now extinct. This amazing creature is a good proof of that.
People thought that the Panda Bear was only a Chinese legend for many, many years, until someone actually brought out the skin from one, and proved it to be a real creature. Even then, it was many years after that before a live one was actually found and caught.
Almost all cultures on the planet have stories of a creature that is man-like and ape-like; so I really believe that they also existed along with early people of most cultures.
I think that it is still possible that some could be living in the remote areas where it is almost impossible for us to go.

http://www.wmbfnews.com/story/264556...-from-fl-water

 

umbrellaausten

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I believe that Neanderthals still live, but not as flesh and blood. The "pure" ones, for lack of a better term, already died out years ago. They have mated with our species though, so their line still lives.

Perhaps this is the reason why some people look different from the others. It could not be because they have a disease, they just different genes.

 

happyflowerlady

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There is an old story (which I can't paste the link to at this moment--computer issues) about an Alma female that was captured many years ago in Russia. Her name became Zana, and she was kept in a cage for the first few years until she quit trying to escape, and became used to being in captivity.
Then, she became basically the village slave because she was large and very strong.
During her captivity, she also had half-Russian babies. Most of them died, because her custom was to take the newborns down to the fiercely cold river and bathe them; which the fragile human babies could not survive.
Finally, the village women started taking the babies away from Zana when they were born, and then they raised the child.
Even though Zana herself was never able to talk, her half-human offspring were able to, and grew up to be part of the village, marrying and having their own children.
A research team went to the village to be able to take DNA samples, but even though they know the general area where Zana was buried, no one could actually find her grave; so the story still remains a mystery to this day.

 

hoodoowytch

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Tangela, that was an AWESOME bit of info you gave there! THANKS!

I have heard of the Zana story Happyflowerlady. it is one of those stories that has intrigued me for some years actually and was some of the influence for this post.

I know they have found that the genes for red hair come from Neanderthal genetics...and I have a red-haired sister....so I suppose there is some Neanderthal genetics in my gene pool. LOL

 



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Happyflowerlady (happyflowerlady) is a Storyteller who has made 311 posts since joining Creative Burrow on 02:46am Sat, Jun 21, 2014. happyflowerlady was invited by no one.

About happyflowerlady
I am a senior lady, now retired; and want to learn about becoming a freelance writer, so  I can supplement my Social Security pension.
I enjoy yardwork and gardening in the summer, and like to knit and crochet in the cold winter months.
I seldom watch television, but I  do like to read, both for entertainment, and for education.
I grew up in North Idaho, and am basically a country girl, and now enjoying the warmer climate here in the Sunny South.

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I like to write short articles about current events, stories about my life, and usually have a bit of humor to add to the mix. When I am telling a story, I want people to feel like they are right there with me, and visualizing every thing I am describing.

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